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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser

formac

history of programming languages-ii

thomas j. bergin

1996

Link

2017-09-04

section nine of the history of programming languages covered formac. in the 1960's, sammet noticed that computers were being used for numerical work in mathematics, and worried that analytical work was suffering. she created formac as the first computer system for symbolic manipulation. although the great-grandmother of modern mathematica, maple, wolfram and all sorts of fancy calculators, formac's pretty much dead. why? lack of support by ibm. based on a language that didn't become popular (pl/i). and it was a little ahead of its time.